Interior Minister Sar Kheng yesterday led a high-level delegation to Germany to strengthen development cooperation and study its public administration system.
He was accompanied by Health Minister Mam Bun Heng, Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron, Environment Minister Say Samal, and Chhieng Yanara, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister and also secretary general of the Cambodian Rehabilitation and Development Board of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).
An Interior Ministry press statement on Tuesday said the visit is at the invitation of the German government and Mr Kheng is leading a delegation of inter-ministry officials.
“During this official visit, the Cambodian delegation will hold discussions with members of the German Parliament and top officials of ministries, including the Cooperation and Economic Development, Foreign and Interior ministries, as well as members of Germany’s Cooperation and Economic Development committee,” it noted.
The statement said the visit is focused on further promoting cooperation between the two countries and the delegation will seek input from German federal and state leaders on the roles and responsibility of sub-national administrations related to the management of public sectors such as education, health, forest, and the environment.
“For more than two decades, the German government has been an important partner of cooperation and supports Cambodia’s efforts to develop sectors such as rural development, health and governance,” it added.
General Khieu Sopheak, Interior Ministry spokesman, said that Mr Kheng and his delegation left for Germany at around 6pm yesterday.
Por Pheak, Mr Kheng’s deputy cabinet chief, confirmed that Mr Kheng was accompanied by the four ministers on the visit.
“Interior Minister Sar Kheng is leading the Cambodian delegation to visit Germany from September 24 to October 1,” he said.
Neth Pheaktra, Environment Ministry spokesman, confirmed that Mr Samal is accompanying Mr Kheng but declined to give details.
Kin Phea, General-Director of International Relations Institute at Royal Academic of Cambodia, yesterday said that Cambodia and Germany enjoy good relations with each other.
He noted that Germany is an EU country and since 1993 has helped the Kingdom develop its system of governance, including election work.
“We know that Germany helps mostly on sub-national administration,” he said.
Mr Phea said he believes the Cambodian delegation will further study Germany’s national and sub-national systems of governance because it has been helping the Kingdom mostly in this sector.
“Bilateral relations between Cambodia and Germany have been good even though Germany is a leading country in the EU,” he noted. “In fact when Samdech Hun Sen was appointed as Prime Minister for the sixth time, German Chancellor Angela Merkel sent a message to congratulate him and said Germany will continue to work with the Cambodian government.”
Mr Phea added that the Cambodian delegation’s visit will further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.
“In the European market, a large amount of Cambodian goods are sold to Germany and Britain,” he noted. “The UK ambassador to Cambodia recently said that Britain will still maintain preferential trade status for Cambodia when it leaves the EU.”